Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Zarina Bahadur, the founder and CEO of 123 Baby Box. Let’s learn what’s happening at 123 Baby Box and how Zarina is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Zarina, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is 123 Baby Box addressing?
Zarina: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! 1,400 hours per year is the average time new moms spend researching products for their baby. 123 Baby Box is a monthly subscription box for babies. With the mission to help the working mom, 123 Baby Box delivers products tailored to the baby’s age and developmental stage. We’re building a community of moms and giving them resources to make it through the first few years. Nobody is there to hold your hand during parenthood, but we will!
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Zarina: Society is constantly evolving and rapidly changing. So, why does mom still have to sift through the infinite amount of product offerings? It’s becoming more and more complicated to be paired with innovative yet unique items that are still useful. We are not going to let analysis paralysis take over mom. Instead, we’re going to be the reason why she can make better informed decisions when it comes to her baby. Our mission is to help the first-time mom on her journey to a better discovery experience.
Spiffy: I love that! How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Zarina: 123 Baby Box is working towards a more equitable world by donating to local charities and orphanages that support moms. Unfortunately, access to the best resources is not available to everyone. This is why 123 Baby Box is working to create a community that provides helpful resources and a strong network where moms can come together and help each other. This community could take many forms. The key is to grow and strengthen our ecosystem.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make?
Zarina: We will launch a "10,000 Eats" campaign. The goal is to feed over 10,000 babies that are struggling with food insecurity. This campaign will make a huge impact by helping our community and fueling our next generation of innovators whom we hope to inspire through our mission.
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Zarina: Fundraising itself is very challenging. However, when you're a woman it's even more difficult. In fact, only 2% of venture capital goes to women. When I first began my fundraising journey, it was no after no after no. It felt like I was failing. However, I didn't give up and soon enough I got my first “Yes.” What I learned is that although it gets challenging, you should never give up because failure is a part of the process. To me, failure is a "learning lesson"
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Zarina—it’s been an honor!
Zarina Bahadur is the CEO and founder of 123 Baby Box, a monthly subscription box for babies. Zarina founded the company as a college student and went on to business school to receive her masters degree. She’s won 1st place in five national pitch competitions and has scaled her company to international markets reaching moms all over the world. (Nominated by Charlotte Michailidis of Parenthood Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on November 2nd, 2022.)© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jason Block. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.